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Recovery in Alpine Heath and Grassland Following Burning and Grazing, Eastern Central Plateau, Tasmania, Australia


Bridle, K and Kirkpatrick, JB and Cullen, P and Shepherd, RR, Recovery in Alpine Heath and Grassland Following Burning and Grazing, Eastern Central Plateau, Tasmania, Australia, Artic, Antarctic and Alpine Research, 33, (3) pp. 348-356. ISSN 1523-0430 (2001) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.2307/1552242


Long-term data from six sites in treeless subalpine and alpine vegetation in central Tasmania are used to document change in vegetation cover and life form dominance over time. All sites have been disturbed by burning and domestic stock grazing in the past. Although burning ceased at least 8 yr before initial measurements were taken, stock grazing still occurs at one site, and rabbits and native vertebrate herbivores (mainly wallabies) graze throughout the region. Vegetation cover increased across all sites over a 5- to 23-yr period at an average annual increment of approximately 1%. There was no significant relationship between the initial cover of bare ground and change in bare ground over time for most of the sites. Annual increases in vegetation cover were least in locations grazed by rabbits and native vertebrate herbivores and where domestic stock still grazed. Exclosures grazed only by rabbits had an intermediate rate of increase. Vegetation cover was found to increase most in ungrazed exclosures. The rates of increase in vegetation cover suggest that, in the absence of fire, it is a matter of decades before cover will be almost complete in the area.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Wildlife and habitat management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Bridle, K (Dr Kerry Bridle)
UTAS Author:Kirkpatrick, JB (Professor James Kirkpatrick)
ID Code:22084
Year Published:2001
Web of Science® Times Cited:23
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2001-08-01
Last Modified:2007-10-23

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